What is Periodontics?
Periodontics is a branch of dentistry specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders affecting the periodontal tissues. It’s one of the dental specialties duly recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA).
Periodontics is concerned with maintaining the structural integrity of the supporting tissues of the teeth. It involves both preventative and restorative techniques.
What Does a Periodontist Do?
A person who specializes in periodontics is called a periodontist. They treat and diagnose people who need treatments for their gum and bone loss. They also treat people with gum disease, which includes gingivitis, periodontitis, and other gum conditions.
Education & Training
Periodontists have a bachelor’s degree in dentistry. They must complete another 2 years of advanced training post-dental school.
A periodontist trains extensively in:
- Cosmetic surgery
- Root planing
- Surgical procedures
How Do Periodontists Differ From Other Dentists?
General dentists can do routine teeth placements. But periodontists are experts in these procedures. They also specialize in treating more sensitive and complex dental conditions.
Periodontists focus mainly on preventing and treating gum disease. They are experts in treating:
- Gum disease
- Other complicated oral issues
Why Are Periodontists Better Than Dentists?
A person should consult a periodontist if they have severe gum disease. This is because only a periodontist is trained and skilled enough to treat this condition.
A periodontist is also better than a dentist in the following areas:
- Periodontists are trained in cosmetic surgery of the gums
- They have better instrumentation, knowledge and technology for gum diseases
- Periodontists are trained in complex gum surgeries
- They are experts in the management of sensitive gums
7 Reasons to See a Periodontist
A person should consult a periodontist if they have:
- Severe gum disease
- Extensive gum recession
- Extreme tooth mobility
- Deep pockets
- Loose teeth
Need to know
- At least 2 appointments
- During the first visit a periodontist will evaluate your gum inflammation, examine the space between the gum and the tooth, and measure the gum recession
- The next visit will be for the treatment
- You may need additional appointments with a periodontist if the treatment is more complex, or for them to assess the success of the treatment
How long it takes
- The first appointment will usually be around 30 minutes
- Treatment appointments will usually be at least 1 hour, however they will vary depending on the treatment you need
You may be asked about
- Your dental history and medical history
- Your oral health care routine at home
- If you’re a smoker
Before your appointment
- No special preparation needed
After your appointment
- If you have had anaesthesia you will still feel a bit numb for the next couple of hours
- With most treatments avoid eating very hot or very cold foods – a soft food diet is usually recommended after treatment
- Avoid drinking alcohol for at least a couple of days
- Avoid smoking for at least a week following treatment or surgery
- Follow the care routine prescribed to you by your periodontist
- You may have some swelling or sensitivity for a couple of days
- Be gentle brushing your teeth around the treatment area for the first few days
If your dentist or specialist gives you advice about daily preventative dental care like teeth brushing techniques and how often you should floss, write it down. It takes time to build a new habit.